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Police say it’s rare, but not unexpected, for domestic violence call to turn fatal for officer

May 29, 2020, 8:11 AM
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Blue ribbons are placed in front of the public safety building in Ogden in honor of a police officer who was shot and killed during a domestic violence call. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

OGDEN, Utah – Police officers across Utah are mourning the loss of one of their own who was killed during a domestic violence call in Ogden. 

Though it’s rare for domestic violence calls to turn fatal for officers, it’s also not entirely unexpected. 

Former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said these are crimes of passion. 

“Anyone who is going to perpetrate violence against a loved one…if they are willing to do that, then absolutely violence against a police officer is not outside their realm or their thought process,” Burbank said. 

Chief Burbank said officers can go on as many as three domestic violence calls a day, which is why an officer may need to be empathetic and able to diffuse the situation. 

“You train and you prepare a police officer. But you put those people out with tremendous confidence that the training you provided them and the process that goes into that hopefully has prepared them for anything they encounter,” Burbank said. 

The officer who was shot and killed in Ogden had been on the force for only 15 months. 

But Chief Burbank said it’s ultimately a judgment call by that officer’s superiors about who to send on calls, and length of time with the force should not necessarily keep an officer from responding to certain calls.   

Domestic violence resources

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.

People in abusive relationships can get help by contacting:

 

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Police say it’s rare, but not unexpected, for domestic violence call to turn fatal for officer